Andrea’s Handy Dandy Tips for Long Air Trips

Here are five tips to make travel more comfortable and safe.

1. With no locks permitted on luggage except for TSA locks (and rumors have it some of the worst thieves are TSA employees), it’s getting harder to safeguard one’s belongings. I use dental floss. Tie your zipper tags together with a few loops of it, Leave one compartment open where you can tuck a pair of child’s scissors or a serrated plastic knife so you can cut the floss on arrival. Since I started doing that, no more thefts, and even the TSA will move on to a bag that is easier to open.

2. Packing for a quick trip gets easier if you buy a transparent shoe bag – the kind with many pockets that hangs in a closet. You can fill the pockets with travel necessities – toiletries, earphones, sewing kits, etc. When you go to pack just look at the shoe bag and you know where all the items are that you need.

3. Carry a small empty spray mister. Fill it at a water fountain after you are through the security check. Stash it in the bag you put under the seat in front of you. On long flights a quick mist will keep women’s make-up from melting, and for both sexes, will refresh you mightily as well as rehydrate your skin. Carry an empty water bottle as well that you fill at the same time and avoid paying $2 a bottle for water or waiting forever before you get handed a small glass of water by the flight attendant.

4. Also for that bag at your feet, prepare an airplane “comfort bag” for the flight. Eye shades, an inflatable neck pillow, and even a mini bottle of your own favorite liquor transferred from your security check liquid baggie, will help make a long flight more comfortable. Also, if it is a red-eye, ladies, bring a shawl – something pretty, light and warm like a pashmina. It will make a cozy blanket, and add a dressy touch to a simple outfit when you get where you are going.

5. On arrival, put that little spray mister to work again. Hang up your clothes and give them a light misting. They will shed the packing wrinkles as they dry. For longer trips when you still just want to take a carry-on, pack an elastic clothesline (the kind with suction cups and hooks and that eliminates the need for any clothespins), a flat sink stopper and small bottle of concentrated Camp Suds (made by Coleman). Just a capful of the latter is enough to do several garments. It also can be used as body wash and shampoo, works in fresh and salt water! That way you can launder your things at the end of the day in the room without much trouble. These items take up very little room. Even the Camp Suds use little space in that security one quart baggie.

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